Working-up alongside in scenario

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Topic(s): HMAS Watson, HMAS Adelaide (L01), HMAS Arunta (F151), HMAS Parramatta (F154)

Sailors from HMAS Arunta conduct Brocco thermal lance training during a damage control exercise onboard Arunta.   (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Sailors from HMAS Arunta conduct Brocco thermal lance training during a damage control exercise onboard Arunta.

The crew from HMAS Arunta made gains by sitting still recently when the ship took part in a simulation exercise alongside.

Exercise STRONGBACK SIM conducted at Fleet Base West and HMAS Watson, formed part of Arunta’s five-week work-up, and HMAS Newcastle’s air warfare competency assessment, and involved training alongside in a simulated environment.

Commanding Officer, Commander Cameron Steil said a stronger simulated component added a new dimension to the ship’s work-up.

“It’s great for us, in terms of preparing for when we do go to sea, to know we’ve reached the core competencies that we need to have achieved that would have taken a lot longer at sea,” he said.

“At sea we may not have the aircraft, the missile threats, the boats and the other consorts that we have available to us in the simulated environment.”

During the exercise, Arunta and Newcastle were put through a number of simulated evolutions, including AW8 multi-unit warfare exercises and anti-submarine warfare exercises.

also undertook various boarding party evolutions and whole ship damage control and fire-fighting exercises.

Fleet Damage Control Officer Lieutenant Commander Stef Curic said Sea Training Group pulled out all the stops.

“We exercised the ship in the DC201 which is a whole ship damage control exercise,” she said.

“We simulated a missile hit into the side of the ship, we put five or six incidents such as fires and floods across the ship, and then watched the ship’s company prioritise and combat those incidents to try and regain control of the ship."

“Over five days, Arunta completed five DC201 serials with a progressive increase in complexity of those serials, and the ship’s company responded well.”

Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois said a stronger work-up simulation component offered his ship’s company an opportunity to hone their skills.

“We’re currently conducting advanced air warfare exercises which is something we wouldn’t have been able to do in the Western Australia Exercise Area with the assets that are available,” he said.

“We had eight F/A-18F aircraft in simulation mode attacking our forces so my team exercised a level of advanced air warfare that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do at sea.”

During the course of the week, Arunta and Newcastle also took part in various synthetic war games with the Command team from HMAS Parramatta which was located in the frigate simulator at HMAS Watson.